7 min read

Paradise Found

In the Paradise Found series, we are describing what we find upon returning to the United States after 25 years abroad in Switzerland. It is not the same place we left. How has the U.S. changed in the last 25 years? Read on if you want to see the U.S. through fresh eyes.

Paradise Found - Start Here
In 1996 my wife and I left the United States to work for a three-year stint in Frankfurt. That turned into a new job and a move to Switzerland. Twenty-five years, two kids, and a lifetime later, we returned to the U.S. once more. Is it the same place we left?
Paradise Found - Interim Update
My wife and I are trying really hard not to sabotage our move back to the U.S. by making any assumptions about what it’s going to be like.

I Predict an Epic Lawsuit Against Food Companies
We’re unhealthier than ever and someone’s going to pay a staggering amount in damages
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Debt
Why America’s outsized debt is wonderful
Is There Pleasure and Profit in Walking to Places?
Is it because we’re pressed for time that we don’t want to get out of our cars? Or because we don’t want to walk?
What Are Your Rights as a Taxpayer?
Only one in ten Americans trust themselves to file their tax return without outside help.
I’ve Got a Tip for You (Newsletter 074)
Tipping in America requires just a few ingredients: a transaction involving at least two individuals and money changing hands, including electronically.
The Scorecard One Year On – Is Anyone Winning?
We can turn America’s score around if we want. But first we have to accept that no one else is coming to do it for us.
The Downside to Academic Life in the United States
I can either go along and not make waves, or I can be an interesting and honest teacher who challenges students to think and learn. I’m not at all sure I can do both.
Slouching Towards Catastrophe (Newsletter 069)
Without deprivation, plenty goes unremarked. Without hardship and suffering, ease is little regarded.
How Valuable is Consistency? (Newsletter 068)
It takes discipline and conviction to stay true to a slow but steady course. Particularly when you’re regularly confronted with examples of instant success.
Jump Right In, The Water’s Fine
With age comes a certain acceptance, if not wisdom. Because you have seen more, you take the daily outrages less personally. It’s not about you, the world is just unfair sometimes.
In Strangers’ Living Rooms
Every time I fly, the distance I contemplate driving to avoid flying goes up.
Our Wishful Thinking Era (Newsletter 063)
In our wishful thinking era, there is only one thing more harmful than the lies we willingly believe, and that is pointing out the truth.
America’s Archduke Ferdinand Moment (Newsletter 061)
We are once again awash with young radicals who believe passionately in their issue. So passionately that they are willing to do anything to achieve their goals.
Yeah, We Probably Shouldn’t Be Voting (Newsletter 060)
When we delegate to politicians our obligations as citizens, we are at the mercy of our politicians faithfully executing our wishes.
What Giving up a Little Bit of Freedom Could Get Us (Newsletter 054)
It wasn’t until we moved to Switzerland and lived there a spell that the upside of knowing where people are became clearer.
What if Ray Dalio is Right? (Newsletter 053)
Do you think we can face our challenges honestly? Will we allow division and internal struggles to lead to decline?
A Solution to the College Debt Crisis (Newsletter 052)
Because of the intense societal pressure pushing kids to go to college, among high school graduates aged 16 to 24, around 70% are enrolled in college. But did you know that fully 40% of them never complete their degree?
A Guide to the Best Methods of Tire Disposal
I suppose there may be some official rules about this, so don’t take my advice if you have tires to dispose of yourself.
Americans Already Work Two Extra Full-Time Jobs
No matter what we are doing, we are now typically simultaneously consuming media in some form.
Some Time-Savers Make Our Lives Worse
It took me a couple decades at work to uncover the great risk in prioritizing getting more things done
What’s the Score, America?
We didn’t know how completely the credit industry has intertwined itself into the fabric of American life until we were on the ground.
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Flying Again
What makes people fade away from one another is not distance, but lack of desire.
What Our Roads Say About Us
Only 5% of U.S. workers in 2019 commuted by public transportation.
Switzerland Is Not Sweden (But It Might As Well Be)
We pay different attention to things close to home than we do those farther away.
Eight Views of the American South
It is time to start talking about the United States. Today I will share our first impressions after not quite two months on the ground.